She'd go to church each Sunday morning,
And afterwards, she'd grocery shop
The requirements of both events
Determined how much cash she brought.
The church was neither rich nor needy,
But was entitled to support,
The pastor's words were most uplifting,
Thus she must not sell the good man short.
A Ten dollar bill?  Yes ... quite enough,
A good deal more than others,
And it would not clink, like coins do,
In the plate and make her shudder.

Then she checked out her cupboards,
And found them nearly bare,
That called for major shopping,
So many things not there.
She made herself a grocery list,
Which grew to several pages,
The poor soul was out of everything,
Which was really quite outrageous.
So she grabbed a Hundred dollar bill,
Which she had put away,
For just such type occasions,
As grocery shopping days.

Now with her Ten and Hundred,
Tucked snugly in her purse,
She felt very well prepared,
For shopping and for church.
The sermon was inspiring,
The hymns stirred her to the depths,
And brimming with emotion,
The woman sang and wept.
When the collection plate was passed,
Still in tears, she sought her Ten,
Oh Oh ... you're way ahead of me,
That's right ... she dropped her Hundred in.

Her error not discovered,
Till she reached the grocery store,
Thank God she had her credit cards,
(Yep, that's what they are for.)
For in her purse, all by itself,
Sat a lone Ten dollar bill,
The Hundred dollar bill now gone,
Resting neatly in the church's till.
If you think she was surprised,
Imagine how the pastor felt,
Some parishioner, he thought,
Must be loaded down with guilt.

Such a large amount for anyone
To drop into the church's plate,
But if it eased a guilty conscience
The pastor guessed that would be great.
The Lord works in mysterious ways,
The preacher took the bill and smiled,
A homeless family on the streets
Would find that cash worthwhile.
When the lady later told her tale,
About the money and its path,
At first folk sympathized with her,
But shortly they began to laugh

Her friends and family teased her,
About the communion wine she drank,
Re its potency and quantity,
And had she drained the church's tank?
They ribbed her about how much she paid
For a reservation up above,
"But dontcha' know," they further teased,
"Cash can't buy the good Lord's love?"
They taunted her about the credit,
She'd now built up at church, perhaps,
Now, she could attend for "free,"
And let the plate go right on past.

She denied their accusations,
Though she was flustered and red-faced,
Of course, she knew her way to heaven,
Was strictly through God's grace.
But good naturedly she took their gibes,
And basically had no regrets,
The cash had gone to a worthy cause,
So how could she be upset?
When she reached into her purse that day,
God took her hand, I think,
And guided it to the proper bill,
And then ... I think ... God winked!

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright June 2006 ~ 2008

Based on a TRUE story!

Thank you, Phyllis Post!
God thanks you!
Your Pastor thanks you!
The homeless family thanks you!
The author of this poem thanks you!
And the members of your exercise class thank you
for all the great laughs we had at your expense!

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